Guttmacher-Lancet Commission: Identifying priorities for the agenda on sexual and reproductive health and rights

SRHR education in Mozambique

The newly established Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) will begin its work to articulate a forward-looking and evidence-based vision for SRHR in the next 15 years.

Although the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development addresses different dimensions of SRHR, there are evident gaps that could potentially hinder the Agenda’s overall success. In order to prevent this, the Commission will work towards “a roadmap for truly addressing essential sexual and reproductive health and rights issues that are fundamental to achieving overall developmental goals”, said Ann Starrs, Guttmacher president and CEO. Starrs is co-chairing the Commission together with Dr. Alex Ezeh, Executive Director of the African Population Health research Center (AFIDEP). The Commission includes 14 commissioners who are recognized experts from different regions and disciplines in academia and politics, as well as practitioners and advisors in the realm of SRHR. They include, among others, Dr. Laura Laski from UNFPA, Dr. Marleen Temmermann from the Aga-Khan University in Kenya, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck, Minister of Health of Senegal, and Dr. Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Global Health Program and Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

The Commission will identify priorities to encompass core SRHR issues such as contraceptive use, maternal and newborn health, and sexually transmitted infections, but it will also focus on neglected elements of SRHR, such as safe abortion, nondiscrimination in access to SRH care based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and the need for high-quality, confidential and timely sexual and reproductive health services.

The findings of the Commission will be interpreted and synthesized to develop a final report, which will be submitted in 2017 to the Lancet for publication. Multiple launches and further dissemination efforts will continue well into 2018. During the next two years, the Commission is expected to draw on published topic-specific reports and articles, synthesizing available evidence to reflect global consensus on needs, gaps and promising approaches in regard to meeting SRH information and service needs. These sources will be supported with new analyses to produce a set of technical background papers.

The Commission is co-financed by BMZ and will be represented in the Commission’s Advisory Board by GIZ. The full list of commissioners and more information can be found here.

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